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10 Genius Back to School Organization Tips for Parents

It's that time of year again; when homework papers obscure the kitchen island, and the daily tasks of making lunches and laying out school clothes seem to stretch late into the night. But have no fear! We have 10 back to school organization ideas that are sure to make getting back into the groove, groovy, instead of gruesome.

1. Multiply productivity with a homework station.

Pencils, and papers, and folders, oh my! Cut down on clutter by setting up a homework station for your kids. Stock the center with the supplies they'll need to burn through assignments without having to break to hunt for an eraser, highlighter or calculator.

2. Avoid getting fed up by creating snack stations.

No mom wants to spend precious time every evening assembling lunches for the next day. Genius idea alert: snack stations! Bag grapes, carrots and other perishable snacks and toss 'em in a drawer in the fridge along with cheese sticks, yogurts and premade PB&Js. A pantry shelf can hold single serving bags of pretzels, juice boxes and cookies. Now assembling lunches is so turnkey, even kids can do it.

3. Outfit your family for success by organizing school clothes.

You'll definitely feel like you're a step ahead of the game when you organize your kids' clothes for the entire week on Sunday night! Create hanger labels for each day and pre-select the outfits, so your mini fashionista can get dressed in the morning without rooting through drawers and laundry baskets to find a favorite pair of jeans or hoodie.

4. Check out a new system for organizing books.

Back to school means numerous trips to the library, which unfortunately, often means checked out books get lost among the shelves with titles of your own. Try designating a library book basket where kids know to place their borrowed tomes. When it's time to return library books, you won't have to dig through every stack in the house.

5. Leave car clutter in your rear view.

You pick the kids up from school; they toss their jackets and backpacks on the floor of the car; then they trip over everything upon exiting the vehicle. If this plight sounds familiar, try creating hangers out of suction cup hooks! Talk about an idea that doesn't suck.

6. Make the morning less manic.

DIY cereal stations for kids makes breakfast so easy, you'll never go back to crazy, catch-as-catch-can morning meals. Simply prefill Tupperware containers with your kiddos' favorite cereal, then fill a jug with a spigot with milk, and keep spoons in an accessible locale. Voila! Breakfast is served.

7. Picture more organized art displays.

Every parent loves showing off art and tests once school is in full swing. But the clutter that comes along with all the treasures your tots bring home is another story. Keep art organized with magnetic refrigerator frames that look so polished, you'll fell a bit like an artist, too.

8. Sample a new kind of schedule.

Trading lazy weekdays for alarm clocks and jam-packed schedules can feel like a drag. But creating a paint sample calendar makes it fun to keep the family's school obligations, sports and activities straight!

9. Straighten out a common laundry problem.

Drowning in laundry? Who isn't? Try this simple trick for shortening the exhausting laundry process: keep kids' clothes folded in drawers in the laundry room instead of their bedrooms! Now, when kids pick out their outfits, they make the trips to the laundry room instead of you hauling loads back and forth to their rooms.

10. Accessorize for success.

Help kids remember things like permission slips, checking the lost and found, and asking the teacher about extra credit with DIY reminder bracelets. When the task is completed, the paper bracelet can be discarded. So simple, so smart!

Happy back to school!

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